You Never Heard of Sandy Koufax?!

Common Sense Media says

A must for any baseball fan.

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Koufax worked hard to meet his goal, and didn't let setbacks hold him back.

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that there's nothing offensive about this inspiring baseball biography.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

Sandy Koufax was one of the greatest left-handed pitchers in professional baseball but even die-hard fans might have missed him. This book introduces kids to Koufax's career from his start with the Dodgers as a rookie with a fast arm to his tenure as the pitcher no one could beat -- not even Mickey Mantle. Along the way the author shares tidbits of baseball history through tossed-off anecdotes and embedded charts.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Koufax's story is inspiring, and the author relates it easily using a friendly, colloquial voice ostensibly belonging to one of Koufax's unnamed teammates. The tone makes it a fun read aloud for parents and the picture book format gives even reluctant readers an easy way to get a lot of baseball history and stick-to-it inspiration in one sitting.

But what really makes this book a knock-out are the highly stylized illustrations. Detailed with gold foil, the pictures manage to look modern while capturing the retro mood of the story. The heavy shadowing accurately imparts the drama of Koufax's story and the smooth swirl of graphite curves helps create movement that's appropriate for a sports story.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about anti-Semitism and its presence in professional sports during Koufax's reign. They can also talk about what it takes to be great in sports. Is talent enough? Can kids think of other sports legends who struggled at the beginning? They can also look up the other baseball players mentioned throughout the book.

Book details

Author:Jonah Winter
Genre:Sports
Topics:Sports and martial arts
Book type:Non-Fiction
Publisher:Random House
Publication date:February 24, 2009
Number of pages:40
Publisher's recommended age(s):9 - 12
Read aloud:9
Read alone:12

This review of You Never Heard of Sandy Koufax?! was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Parent of a 5 and 7 year old Written byJamie and James July 1, 2010
AGE
6
QUALITY
 

Young kids HAVE NEVER HEARD OF SANDY KOUFAX?

This is an inspiring book, even though my children do not yet understand it. My son is a left-hand pitcher on his little league, and I know this will be motivating for him when he gets older.
What other families should know
Great messages
Kid, 11 years old August 16, 2012
AGE
10
QUALITY
 

You Never Heard of Sandy Koufax?!

This book is a very great book. This shows a nobody turn into one of the best pitchers who ever played the game. The author makes it seem like Sandy Koufax is a true hero. Also it's kind of a mystery who's telling the story. This book has a positive message to not give up.It also has alot of educational baseball terms. Anyone who likes baseball would find this inspiring.
What other families should know
Great messages
Educator and Parent Written byavivar October 23, 2014
AGE
7
QUALITY
 

My favorite biography to read aloud

I can't help reading this book in a Brooklyn accent to my second graders and they just love it. Sandy's story is interesting to kids, the language and delivery really hook them. And for Jewish kids, both religious and not, his story can be especially inspirational.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models

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